Once again (sorry), it’s time for one guy’s arbitrary and often silly list of things hoped for — but not necessarily expected — in this new year:
More politicians in Washington finally realizing that we desperately — and disgustedly — need them to start putting more importance on the welfare of our beloved nation as a whole than on whatever party or special-interest group they happen to belong to.
More birds gathering around my backyard feeder. I’ve seen hardly a cardinal — or even a sparrow or a rampaging crow — in a couple of months now — which is unusual even for this winter season.
More widespread concern — or preferably alarm — about all the growing evidence of just how much colossal damage we of the homo sapiens variety are causing to the Earth, its atmosphere, its oceans, and to all the other species unfortunate enough to share this ever-more-endangered planet with us.
More Americans taking at least as much interest in the academic activities at our colleges and universities as they do in their sporting events.
Speaking of which: yet another outstandingly promising group of students in my two journalism classes at Chapel Hill.
Fewer noisy and destructive rips around the house by our young and beloved but ornery Siamese cat Max. (Yeah. Right.) And while I’m on the subject: Less harassment by Max of our other Siamese: poor, aged little Lily.
At the same time: Less confused wandering-around (and unexplained wee-hours barking) by our dear, aged black Lab, Georgia.
Greater success than in this just-concluded year (and the one before that) in achieving my admittedly not-very-ambitious goal of reading at least a book a month.
Fewer moles tearing up our yard. (I’ve been working on it.)
More people spending more time reading nonfiction books about things that really happened than nonfiction ones about stuff that’s just made up.
Speaking of which: I especially recommend the fascinating works of David McCullough. For example: Try “The Great Bridge” or “The Path Between the Seas,” and you’ll see what I mean.
Even more enlightening and entertaining discussions by our monthly breakfast group, the Junto.
Happy, loving, healthy and successful years by wife Brenda, sons Jacob and Benjamin, and daughter Kate.
A resumption by me of more (or any) regular trips to the fitness center.
More time (or any) by me sitting around and strumming on my treasured old Ventura nylon-stringed guitar, which has been gathering dust for too many years now.
Fewer people needlessly prolonging and intensifying this seemingly endless COVID epidemic by finding so many baseless, selfish and often politically motivated excuses not to get a shot.
As I think I may have said before: more efforts by network “news” programs to give us more footage of reporters actually out showing us what’s going on in our nation and the world — and fewer consisting entirely of three or four people sitting around a table in the studio and endlessly blabbing about it.
Speaking of network news, on radio as well as TV: fewer interviewees prefacing every answer with “Yeah,” even though it was not a yes-or-no question. (Check it out. You’ll see what I mean. Happens constantly.)
At traffic intersections here and elsewhere, fewer drivers protruding as much as a full car length beyond the white pavement line they’re supposed to be staying behind.
Speaking of which: Fewer absent-minded drivers paying more attention to their cellphones than to what’s going on in the traffic around them.
More interaction between the good people in the northern and southern halves of our wonderful Moore County, which so often seem to lead such separate lives.
And most of all, Dear Readers, a deliriously happy, healthy, productive and loving New Year for you and your families. Not to mention your pets.
Steve Bouser is the retired editor and Opinion editor of The Pilot. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.